July 16, 2024
Report: Trump’s Lawyer Revealed Some Unfortunate Things for Trump in Classified-Docs Case

Is Donald Trump going to be indicted by the Justice Department over his handling of classified documents? On the one hand—with the major caveat that he was, in fact, criminally charged in April by the Manhattan district attorney’s office over his hush money deals—the ex-president has effectively escaped any real repercussions for seven-plus decades of bad behavior ranging from the disturbing and f–ked up to the (allegedly) criminal. On the other hand, it’s not looking great for the guy! Over the last several weeks—while Jack Smith was reportedly uncovering “significant evidence” that the ex-president may have obstructed justice—news emerged that “close associates” of Trump and his actual lawyers believe an indictment is coming. And based on new reporting, it’s not hard to see why.

The Guardians reports that Trump attorney Evan Corcoran told associates that after he searched the Mar-a-Lago storage room for classified documents—in response to the government subpoena ordering Trump to return all classified documents—he asked “whether he should search anywhere else, like Trump’s office, but was steered away.” That led to Corcoran handing over 38 classified documents found in the storage room to the Justice Department and asking a fellow attorney to sign a letter saying that all documents—without searching anywhere else, including Trump’s office—were turned over to the “best of [her] knowledge.” Which seems fairly notable given that, as The Guardians writes, “the FBI seized 101 classified documents months afterwards, including from the office, which was found to be where the most highly classified documents had been located.” As the outlet notes, the revelation “suggests [Corcoran] was materially misled as the special counsel Jack Smith examines whether [the] incomplete search was actually a ploy by Trump to retain classified documents.”

earlier this month, The Guardians reported that Smith’s team had obtained approximately 50 pages of dictated notes from Corcoran, which revealed that he had advised the ex-president against retaining any government documents after the subpoena was issued. (According to CNN, Trump explicitly asked if he could fight the DOJ’s attempt to take back the documents.) The notes also reportedly showed that Corcoran told Trump’s longtime valet, Walt Nauta, “About the subpoena before he started looking for classified documents because Corcoran needed him to unlock the storage room.” (Nauta is the Trump aide who was seen on camera moving boxes at Mar-a-Lago both before and after the May subpoena; different people familiar with the matter have said either that Nauta outright told investigators boxes that he was moving the boxes at Trump’s behest , or that he didn’t say it directly but that it was implied.)

When testing before the grand jury, Corcoran said that Trump, per The New York Times, did not “convey…false information” about the location of the classified documents, but “did not tell his lawyers of any other locations [beyond the storage unit] where the documents were stored, which may have effectively misled the legal team.”

While Corcoran tested that Trump did not personally mislead him about where to search at Mar-a-Lago, he also acknowledged that Trump did not suggest he look anywhere else, as the Times summarized earlier this month. While Corcoran’s testimony would have normally been prohibited due to attorney-client privilege, Smith had convinced a court it was essential to hear because Corcoran’s advice to Trump may have been used by the ex-president to commit a crime.

Responding to the news that Corcoran was allegedly told not to look for documents beyond the storage room, a spokesperson for Trump told The Guardians: “This is completely false and rooted in pure fantasy. The real story is the illegal weaponization of the justice department and their witch-hunts targeted to influence an election in order to try and prevent President Trump from returning to the White House.” Trump himself does not appear to have commented on the latest, but he’ll presumably be a twig about it on Truth Social in due course.